Changing Lanes

On Sunday my book club met at my house. We all kind of laugh about the name, because really, about a quarter of that time is spent talking about the book. The evening usually revolves around food and wine, and afterall, I do live in wine country.
I like my friends, and I’m proud to say everyone of those ladies is special to me in a certain way. It’s really nice to be around women of like minds, from 10 years younger to 10 years older than me. If there is one thing I have no shortage of here is good friends.
It’s been an interesting year for friendships. I’ve lost about 3 people who I was very close to. They aren’t really “lost” per say. They’ve actually just kind of changed, or maybe I’ve just changed. I think the fact that I’m surrounded by such great women, it’s
made me intolerable of bullshit friendships, or friendships that have just dried up… Or friendships that have just gotten plain weird.
I realized earlier this year that a younger friend of wine was leaching off my good energy. She only came to me when she had drama or wanted to stir up a pot of drama. I was in her wedding and really got a clear picture of who she was during the whole planning. It was always all about her, not just during her wedding planning, but always. And the fact that she was never really there when I needed her came to light in big, vibrant, neon sign pointing ways. We are still cordial, but that’s really it. I only stalk her so I can judge her quietly. And, yea, I know but we ALL do it.
My other friend lived out of state. She’s a lot older than me, but we met through the Flickr site and became close. We had a lot in common and I felt in some ways she was like another older sister to me. Then a visit out to see me turned into some lesbian-fantasy-on-her-part kind of visit. I think she was in love with me. Despite being married to a man, I think I just filled a void for her that her husband did not. It was awkward. I’m not into women. Though they are just lovely to look at, I don’t dig on vagina. THEN I found out she was really friendly with a girl (who WAS my friend at some point) who was having an emotional tryst with my ex. Loyalty goes a long way with me. I felt like not only was she weirdly into me, but unloyal to our friendship. We are friends on Facebook, but that’s it.
My other friendship split is really heartbreaking on my part. It’s heartbreaking because I don’t think she has noticed the change or sees it. Her and I have been friends for 12 years. I love her entirely. I was her maid of honor in her very lavish wedding. I’ve been there for her through every relationship, through her marriage and through her difficult infertility then pregnancy. We were single together, worked together, grew together. I thought we would be best friends forever… I didn’t realize how much had changed in the 4 years I’ve been away from LA. You see, I was so worried about being friends for the sake of being friends, that I didn’t see the social and economic changes that ensued. I hate myself for even thinking this is what drove us apart but, here’s the thing: she has a lot of money. She’s from money. Married a man who told her she never had to work again and they live really well. She never really thinks twice to wonder why I don’t buy make-up foundation that costs 75 dollars. Or why I don’t have a top of the line flattening iron for my hair. She asks why do I keep my old furniture from my old relationship when I can just buy new stuff. She makes it a point to say out loud that my pets are disposable and therefore until I get rid of them I’ll never find a decent place to live or a good man who won’t think I’m the crazy cat lady. I could go on. And maybe these are just my issues. But the point is, lately she makes me feel bad about myself. I’m not a rich person, I’m not from money and will probably never have a lot of money, but I think I do alright, especially since life handed me a bag of shit a while ago. It hurts my feelings. She’s harsh. And recently I heard her same some pretty unkind things about a member of her family about his weight. He’s a child. She’s an adult, and weighs about 3 bills. It bothered me. I asked her when she got so cruel, to which she replied, “when did you get so soft?”. I don’t think i’m soft at all, I just think before I open my mouth; a trait I realize she really has never possessed. Maybe this is all petty. I know if I was to address this in any way, she would say it’s because she has a child now and that I don’t understand. Because that’s an easy out. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is our lives are very different. Her money has never been an issue to me, until she started pointing out how little I had.
Anyway, there’s that. I’ve just been distant lately. I don’t know if we’ll ever get back what we had. We aren’t in our 20’s any longer.
I’m just happy that as old friendships have withered, new ones are growing. For the first time in all my life, I truly get what it means to have real friends. And “once you’ve been treated good, there’s no going back to bullshit”. That’s my favorite line from the movie Waiting to Exhale, it’s about men but I like to apply it to all relationships.
So while these relationships change, I’m going to nurture my new ones and feel good about myself. There may be wine included in that nurturing, as well.



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